Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Leaks and Potpourri

There are some amazing leaks coming out of the White House, for those who enjoy those sorts of things.

The thing about leaks from anonymous sources is: who can say for sure they're legit?  That's above my paygrade.  I present them here strictly for entertainment purposes, without any claim that they are for real.  If they are for real, though, sheesh.  We won't know for some time if they're real or not.  I do think they're funny, though.  Funny and potentially extremely disturbing.

Leak #1: apparently President Trump authorized the raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL along with numerous Yemeni civilians and the loss of a $75 million helicopter after being told the raid could be a "game changer" and than the Obama administration was not "bold enough" to have launched it.

Al Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi was not captured in the raid, and the Trump administration denied that capturing him was the point of the raid.  But if capturing al-Rimi was not the point of the raid, what was the point of the raid?  If it was simply to show that the President is "bolder" than Barack Obama, then that's rather troubling.

This is the part that upsets me the most (aside from the Yemeni civilians being killed. I know we're not supposed to care about non-American civilians for some reason, but I can't help but think that those people are human beings too):

A former SEAL Team 6 member told the New York Times that commandos knew the mission was compromised and that they “were screwed from the beginning.”

(emphasis added mine)

Well, anyways, things go wrong in targeted military operations and this too will pass.  So let's move on to Leak #2.

Leak #2: Apparently Donald Trump doesn't know whether a strong dollar or a weak dollar is "good," and decided to ask his national security advisor to clear that issue up for him.  Emphases added mine:

President Donald Trump was confused about the dollar: Was it a strong one that’s good for the economy? Or a weak one?

So he made a call ― except not to any of the business leaders Trump brought into his administration or even to an old friend from his days in real estate. Instead, he called his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, according to two sources familiar with Flynn’s accounts of the incident.
Flynn has a long record in counterintelligence but not in macroeconomics. And he told Trump he didn’t know, that it wasn’t his area of expertise, that, perhaps, Trump should ask an economist instead.
Trump was not thrilled with that response ― but that may have been a function of the time of day. Trump had placed the call at 3 a.m., according to one of Flynn’s retellings ― although neither the White House nor Flynn’s office responded to requests for confirmation about that detail.

Why didn't the President call me?  I could clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of a strong and a weak dollar to him.  I'd be happy to!  I want things to work out for the working class and America to be Made Great Again.  I'd take that call at 3:00 a.m.!  Give me a ring, Donald!

Maybe these leaks are slander pure and simple.  I certainly hope they are, because if the President who's planning on rolling out a big infrastructure plan to save manufacturing jobs in this country doesn't understand whether a strong or weak dollar is the "good" one, we're in trouble.

Now, some random items:

  • Dean Baker has a good short piece on severance pay, and how it can be mandated by the states to deter mass layoffs.  I really hope you folks are checking your Dean Baker daily!
  • China is winning the battle for Africa's infrastructure market.  Africa is a continent on the rise, which can be hard to mentally adjust to if you were raised, as I was, with nearly exclusive images of warfare and starvation plaguing the entire continent.

Lastly for today, and not news/Trump administration related: the new Legend of Zelda game just looks so damn awesome.  I'm going to have my first child soon.  I won't have time to play this, will I? Sigh.

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